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Richard Cornish

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The roosters are still crowing as chef Nengah Suradnya rides through his village of Penestanan to the Ubud market. The Lombok-born, Australian-trained chef weaves in and around the already busy narrow streets and lanes, over clear flowing streams and past rice paddies at what seems breakneck speed.  ‘We have to get there early as the stallholders are gone by 8.30,’ he shouts above the scream of the engine. I hold on tight as we cross…

There is energy at Africola. It blasts from the charcoal grill at the heart of the kitchen. It radiates from the brightly coloured modern art hanging on the walls. It is irresistibly passed on by the bar staff who work cheek by jowl with the kitchen crew. You can taste it in the modern South African émigré food of chef Duncan Welgemoed that hits you like a wall of flavour while wrapping comfortably around you…

Covered in a rind with an apricot blush these soft, often creamy, washed rind cheeses, first made in European monasteries in the Middle Ages, develop an aroma that can vary from attractively meaty to deliciously stinky. Those meaty overtones made the cheeses a popular source of protein for the monks, who were forbidden from eating meat during the frequent – and lengthy – Catholic fasts. The great washed rind cheeses of Europe include Taleggio, Pont…

The Aløft dining room fills with a thousand dancing points of light as the sun glances off the Derwent River near Sullivans Cove in the heart of Hobart. Two floors up on a floating pier this modern restaurant has one of the best waterside views in the nation. The philosophy and aesthetics reflect the modern Scandi trend of eating locally using only seasonal local and, sometimes, foraged food. This is blended with a cuisine that…

The kitchen at Donna Chang, Brisbane feels like a frontier. A place where two cultures slam into each other at a breathtaking pace. Bubbling furiously is a wok in a broth laden with deep red, crimson chilli peppers. A young chef from Hong Kong tosses some rice around in another wok, his arm working like a piston on a locomotive. The air is filled with the aroma of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise along with…

Richard Cornish samples three of the best Australian oysters from the NSW South Coast, Tasmania and Coffin Bay, South Australia. Wapengo Rocks Sydney Rock Oysters On a crystal clear lagoon, surrounded by the forest between Tathra and Bermagui on the New South Wales South Coast a grow rows and rows of oysters. These are Australian native Sydney rock oysters and are indigenous to the coastal waters from Brisbane to the Victorian border. At Wapengo Lake…

The sun beats down on the banana trees, their sheet-like leaves dancing in the tropical breeze. The water in the pool sits somewhere between pleasantly warm and refreshingly cool. We swim to the bar at the end of the pool, sit on the submerged stools and order a drink with lots of ice and tropical fruit. We look out over a forest of steel and glass towers while several floors below office workers hit the…

Howard Smith Wharves, the historic shipping precinct directly under the northern end of the iconic Story Bridge is a dramatic new destination that offers a magical 80 percent waterside public space as-well-as the new Art Series Hotel – The Fantauzzo. The district’s new river boardwalk now extends to New Farm ferry terminal. 5 Boundary St, Brisbane; artserieshotels.com.au/fantauzzo/ Directly under Story Bridge, and just metres from the hotel is Mr Percival’s. This is a magnificent realisation…

Twenty years ago the team behind Indigo Vineyard saw Beechworth not only as great area to make quality wine but as a place to make wines at a price point where they can be poured with family meals, at BBQs with friends and to share over a plate of appetisers. This puts wines the region produces within the reach of people who want quality without the big spend. Indigo Vineyard in Everton Upper sits on…

We have been working hard for years and this medal is a great thrill for us,’ says Julie Cameron from Meredith Dairy, winner of this year’s 13th Annual President’s Medal. It is the most sought-after food and beverage award in the nation. ‘We spent a lot of time looking at our business, measuring the data, determining what we need to do better. The process of entering the competition really helped that,’ said Julie. ‘We worked…

The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW President’s Medal is Australia’s most sought-after food and beverage award. This week we announce the six finalists. The 2019 medal winner will be announced at a gala dinner in Sydney next week, April 17. The finalists come from around the country and the quality of the entries this year is extraordinary. Staple Bread & Necessities, Staple Classic Sourdough Champion Professional Bakery With its crisp, brown nutty crust and tangy…

The early-morning light flows through the trees. It’s a still summer’s day and a cool pillow of wind bounces up from the Ovens River. Ripples appear on the far bank and a wet and leathery bill of a platypus emerges from the cool clear water. ‘He is one of our neighbours,’ says Samantha Pasquinelli. She and husband Marco used to live in the charismatic riverside house on the quiet side of the Ovens in the…

From around the nation are gathered the best of the best foods and wine. Tested for taste, assessed for sustainability: the nominated products are scrutinised under the microscope to ensure a rock solid triple bottom line. In the end there can be only one winner of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW President’s Medal. It is the most sought-after food and beverage award in the nation. A weighty, gleaming silver medallion engraved with the words:…

Essentials’ Richard Cornish recently caught up with artisan cheesemaker Andre Kogurt of Mornington, Victoria’s Blue Bay Cheese company; an interview that was long overdue. But learning to be patient in all things dairy it seems, is par for the course. Cheesemaker Andre Kogut is a patient man. He spends a lot of time waiting. He waits hours for his milk to turn to curds. He waits weeks as the curds set in their hoops. He…

The paint has barely dried on some of Brisbane’s newest venues. Perhaps the most obvious are those amongst Howard Smith Wharves – a historic shipping precinct directly under the northern end of the iconic storey bridge. Right on the water’s edge and wrapped by the escarpment of New Farm’s Wilsons Outlook, this dramatic new destination has 80% public space, a new Art Series Hotel – The Fantauzzo, plus a range of modern eateries including recently…

The sun sets over Beechworth, flooding the old town with rich golden light. The hills above Beechworth, their rich red soil glowing red and magenta in the dying light of the day. This is the view from the first floor verandah of the newly-renovated Empire Hotel in the heart of Beechworth. It is mesmerising. The outdoor lounge, which is protected by blinds when more than breezy, is the perfect place to take in a Bridge…

We’re sitting in Provenance restaurant admiring the simplified new interior and listening to the playlist. Chef Michael Ryan puts as much effort into his music as he does the food on the plate. Velvet Underground. R.E.M. Cowboy Junkies. Smooth, rich sounds of the late 20th century purring sweetly into this grand old bank building. The new cool green walls, moss green carpet and minimalist decoration by Meme Designs highlights the soaring ceiling and high Victorian…

Some of the best names in the business share similar terroir – famous free-draining granite and loamy soils that produce top wines that are celebrated around the world – welcome to Beechworth, Australia. Savaterre Keppell Smith is a very entertaining host. He is also an incredibly serious winemaker. One of the best. He also makes exceptionally good prosciutto, but just for his friends and family. We sit in the late spring sun looking out over…

It’s early evening and the warm glow of the bistro spills out from the broad verandah into the street. Inside, the Edison lamps bathe the beautifully simple dining room with golden light. Woven cane bistro chairs sit at hardwood tables, each set with fine wine glasses, cutlery and cloth napery. Beechworth’s Ox and Hound is a real local bistro, the place where you can dine several times a week or drop in for an exceptionally…

It’s garlic, but not as you know it. Rich, dark and delicious, Garlicious Grown black garlic is an ingredient for the everyday cook to make dishes more interesting, more fun and even tastier. Black garlic is garlic that has been naturally transformed to change not just its colour and texture but also its flavour. Gone is the pungent tang, replaced with a sweet mellow flavour that is reminiscent of molasses and caramel. The sharpness of…

It is one of the best oysters I have had in a long time. Fat and flinty, it sits on the half shell brimming with salty brine. ‘I grew up with oysters,’ says Jones Winery Restaurant chef Briony Bradford. Raised in Albury, but spending years living on the oyster-rich Sapphire Coast of New South Wales, the globetrotting chef recently achieved a long-term desire to cook in a beautiful winery restaurant. She worked under Claude Bosi…